The iconic end-of-year shot for 2011-2012 with formal Banquet attendees. Left to right: Thomas O’Rourke, Quinn Maingi, Deepta Janardhan, Asher Wasserman, Henry Phipps, Corey Girard, Rachel Cusumano, Russell Potter, Adam Bomeisl, Kurt Falk, Ashley Novak, Storey Clayton, Daimler Vadlamuri, Amanda Gaetano, Chris Bergman, Stephen Yellin, Bhargavi Sriram, Dave Reiss, Alex Jubb, Nisha Kumar, Arbi Llaveshi, Jason Boyle, Shireen Hamza, and Cathy Guo.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) held its first annual Senior Banquet Tuesday night to honor those graduating from the club and celebrate a year of incredible growth and accomplishment.

The event, hosted by Novice Mentor Kurt Falk and held in one of the Brower Commons Dining Rooms, featured the semifinals and finals of the popular internal Ironman tournament, as well as speeches by graduating seniors, the President, and Coach. Falk also put together a gameshow called “RUDU Feud” to celebrate some quirkier aspects of the personalities assembled on the team.

The Ironman tournament was RUDU’s fifth annual since the inception of the tournament in spring 2008. The now established tradition pits most of Rutgers’ top debaters against each other in 1-on-1 half-rounds in a single elimination tournament. This year, sophomore Ashley Novak, the 4th seed, defeated alumnus David Reiss, the 2nd seed, in the final round. This tournament was the first to feature a bracket of 32 Rutgers debaters. Last year had 16 and all prior years had 8.

This growth in the Ironman tournament reflects the extensive growth of the club, which sent sixty-one (61) unique individuals to at least one APDA tournament this year. This makes RUDU one of the largest debate teams on the parliamentary circuit and poises the team, after losing only two seniors this year (Kyle Bomeisl and Amanda Gaetano), to contend for the top awards all next year.

Rutgers finished the season ranked ninth overall in the league, its second ever finish in the top ten of the prestigious College of the Year (COTY) rankings.

Here are the sixty-one members of the club who participated in intercollegiate competition this year or last and their status heading into 2012-2013:

Graduating Seniors
Kyle Bomeisl
Amanda Gaetano

Continuing Varsity
One Year of Eligibility

Chris Bergman
Bhargavi Sriram

Continuing Varsity
Two Years of Eligibility

Adam Bomeisl
Nisha Kumar
Arbi Llaveshi
Ashley Novak
Thomas O’Rourke
Stephen Yellin

Continuing Varsity
Three Years of Eligibility

Danial Manzoor
Alex Weiss
Isaac Woodward

Rising Varsity
Three Years of Eligibility

Jalal Ansari
Archie Babu
Jasmeet Bawa
Chris Beal
Jason Boyle
Antonio Cruz
Rachel Cusumano
Tina Dukandar
Kurt Falk
Corey Girard
Nick Guida
Shireen Hamza
Deepta Janardhan
Alex Jubb
Quinn Maingi
Rachel Moon
Gordon Morrisette
Henna Nain
Leland Perice
Henry Phipps
Russell Potter
Taaj Robinson
Aditya Singh
Ryan Tashima
Sarthi Tuli
Daimler Vadlamuri
Asher Wasserman
Maxwell Williams

Continuing Novices
Four Years of Eligibility

Samir Ahmed
Kevin Amaral
Elle Amofah
Daman Anand
Steli Cambilis
Jason Carter
Mohit Chopra
Tom Coghlan
Shelley Friedman
Alex Gristina
Cathy Guo
Chris Kaplan
Afsha Khan
Meet Patel
Siri Praturi
Shyam Sridhar
Joe Yi
Austin Zhuyan

Debaters have four years of eligibility to compete on the APDA circuit, but must attend at least three tournaments their first year to use that year of eligibility. Continuing novices attended only one or two tournaments.

The 2012-2013 season opens September 7th, 2012 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.